Losing weight & being mindful during the holidays

“People think, it’s the holidays! And go nuts for about four months. But if you break it down, the holidays are only four days of the year: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas… and New Year’s. Allow yourself a few parties, but be mindful the rest of the time.”
—Jillian Michaels interview, by Amy Spencer, Redbook, October 2011 (Jillian is the former trainer from The Biggest Loser)

I know what you’re thinking. You’re talking about the holidays? Already? Yep. I swear they come earlier every year. For weeks, temporary Halloween costume stores have been sprouting all over southern California. Costco and other retailers have already been selling Christmas trees and decorations.

In past Octobers, sometimes my husband and I would buy a big bag of chocolate candy for the trick-or-treaters—none of that cheap, hard candy stuff. We would laugh and say, “It’s for the children.” Then we’d bust them open, stick them in the fridge and graze on them for weeks. Our favorite: mini Reese’s peanut butter cups.

I’m happy to say that I won’t miss the candy at all this year. It doesn’t even sound remotely appealing. Boy, is that a life change.

I loved Jillian’s reminder that “the holidays are only four days of the year.” It’s not carte blanche to go nuts.

Yes, it will be hard. Yes, all kinds of goodies will frequently be brought into the office over the next several months. The treats will smell good. They will look good. Others will be partaking and their eyes will be rolling back in ecstasy. It will feel just plain weird to not join in on the cultural tradition of pigging out like everyone else. Not participating in the fun separates you from people, just the tiniest bit. People in my world will be supportive, but I wonder if they will feel just a little bit sorry for me when I’m missing out on the pleasure of it all.

Following Jillian’s advice, I will allow myself a few parties. And my own intentional off-plan eating once a week. I will pace myself for those intentional moments. I will stay in control.

Doth I protest too much? Nope. Just psyching myself up for what’s coming.

What’s your strategy for staying on track during the holiday season?

For more… Check out Jillian Michaels’ 4 Months of Feel-Great Tips: October through January, on Redbook magazine’s website.